HAWTHORNE, N.J. — The guilt of going to work with a newborn baby at home is something that still haunts Mary Mustakas 13 years later.
From the moment she closed the front door behind her until she pulled into her driveway after work, the Maywood makeup artist feared she’d miss a milestone.
Keeping food on the table came first, however.
Determined to give new moms an opportunity that she never had, Mustakas has organized a “Mompreneurial Expo” in partnership with South Bergen Macaroni Kid and Babies “R” Us launch in Paramus on Saturday.
The noon-to-3 p.m. event will feature several home-based businesses and wellness vendors.
Her goal is to show women that being a mom doesn’t have to come with losing time with the family, or relinquishing their sense of self.
“Three weeks after I had a C-section, I had to hand my baby over and go back to work,” said a tearful Mustakas behind the desk of her Faces by Mary office on Lincoln Avenue in Hawthorne. “There’s nothing harder than having to do that.”
Keeping up with business often consumed the Oradell native's life. She felt that it depended on how much she worked, and it made staying true to herself all the more difficult.
Running her own beauty businesses gave Mustakas a sense of purpose.
“There’s no reason for women to lose your sense of who you are,” said Mustakas, an account executive for Mario Badescu. “You could be a wife, a mom, a sister, a friend — but at the end of the day you’re still a woman and you still have to feel like one.”
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